The Federal Government is hiring the United States technology giants such as Oracle Corporation and Microsoft Corporation as it steps up efforts to save costs and fight corruption.
An initiative led by Redwood, California-based Oracle, has helped the Federal Government to remove 50,000 ghost workers, or fake entries, from the payroll, according to a statement from the Presidency.
This followed Oracle’s decision to open an office in Abuja in May.
Other companies interested in taking on more work in Nigeria included IBM Corporation and Sweden’s Ericsson AB, the Managing Director of government-owned Galaxy Backbone, which provides technology services to the government, Yusuf Kazaure, said.
Kazaure said Galaxy Backbone’s budget had increased by 30 per cent to N4bn this year, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
According to him, government funding for the company will probably increase at a similar annual rate for the foreseeable future.
The Federal Government is investing about 50 per cent more on Information and Communications Technology infrastructure this year, totaling about N41bn, according to budget data.
The country is seeking to recover from its worst economic downturn in more than two decades and is using technology to improve government revenue collection and attract investment.
Nigeria is ranked 136 out of 167 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index, a placing that may improve if the government is able to simplify processes such as the awarding of government permits, according to the Director, Public Sector Work, Microsoft Nigeria, Hakeem Adeniji-Adele.
In an emailed response to questions, Adeniji-Adele was quoted to have said, “The government’s digitisation drive is imperative in cutting out the middle man.
“The existence of middle men has left room for corrupt and illegal practices to thrive in governance and business in Nigeria.”
He said Microsoft was seeing an opportunity to advise and train users.
The Communications Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Constance Ikokwu, said the ministry was in talks with Microsoft to improve e-services, which ties into the government’s objective to improve World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking.
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